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Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude


Today is Thanksgiving – the one day a year we all celebrate being grateful. But the truth is that gratefulness shouldn’t be a one-day thing… it should be a lifestyle. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Think about that for a second – Christ’s will for us is that we might be characterized by thankfulness in ALL circumstances. Not just on holidays. Not just when you receive something unexpectedly good. But in all circumstances.

Easier said than done, am I right?

It can be hard to be thankful when it seems like there are so many challenging things going on in the world today. Perhaps you were negatively impacted by COVID-19 either in your health or your bank account. Maybe you are missing a loved one this holiday season, or you are frustrated with your family, or simply exhausted by the holiday bustle. The Bible doesn’t tell us that we have to be thankful FOR difficult circumstances, just amid them. But how do we do this?

One way is by changing our attitudes from one of expectation to one of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the difficulties in your life and feeling as if there is nothing to be thankful for this year, pay attention to the little things you take for granted each day. For example: when was the last time you thanked God for your job and a paycheck? Or for your house? Or for that feast of food on your table today? 

When I’m struggling with loneliness, anxiety, frustration, fear, and disappointment, going through everyday things that I am grateful for helps me reset. Because when I practice giving thanks, true thankfulness seeps in.

As you read this blog and contemplate Thanksgiving week, I challenge you to bring an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude to work this week and see what kind of a difference it makes.

Jim

 

Used with permission from Jim Brangenberg.

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